Nov 19, 2018  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Registration and Academic Policies



Orientation

During the first week of the fall term, new students arrive on campus before upperclassmen for a special program of orientation. In this period, they will begin The Christian Mind course, take placement tests, attend lectures on student life and traditions, become acquainted with campus facilities, participate in social gatherings, and complete their registration.

Registration Regulations

All students will be expected to register during the regular registration periods at the beginning of each semester. Late registration will entail a fee of $100.

Course Load

Regularly enrolled students will normally carry between 12 and 18 credit hours per semester. Students who carry 12 or more hours are considered full-time students. Students will not be allowed to register for more than nineteen hours without special permission. Those students whose class work is below standard, or who find it necessary to be employed for more than 20 hours of work each week, may be required to reduce their programs of study.

Dropping or Changing Courses

Students who wish to drop a course or change enrollment from one course to another must consult with their advisor and submit a Schedule Change Form from the Records and Registration webpage to the Office of Records. Normally, a fee will be charged for all class changes after the designated period unless these changes are required by the College. This includes dropping or adding a course. Consult the academic calendar for the deadlines for dropping and adding courses and the grades that will be assigned based on those dates.

Student athletes are required to maintain full-time enrollment with 12 hours or more during a term, and to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of the degree program. Athletes should contact their coach before dropping a class.

Withdrawal from the College

Students desiring to withdraw from Covenant before the end of a semester must contact the Dean of Records and process an official Withdrawal Clearance Form available in the Office of Records. See Withdrawal Refund Policies  in the General Information section for more information. Students seeking reentry to the college in the future may be required to interview with a staff member and satisfactorily complete necessary enrollment conditions prior to being readmitted.

Privacy Rights of Students

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records within 45 days of the day Covenant receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Office of Records or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the records the student wishes to inspect. The College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s educational records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to request Covenant to amend a record should write the appropriate official clearly identifying the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If Covenant decides not to amend the record as requested, Covenant will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before Covenant discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. FERPA was designed to transfer parental “rights” to their “adult” child when he or she enrolls in college. The College intends to uphold the letter and the spirit of FERPA while at the same time upholding biblical relationships and responsibilities of the family and/or legal guardian.

As general practice, parents and/or other students are not informed by the College of disciplinary action taken toward a student. The College will always encourage the student to communicate openly and honestly with the parent. There may, however, be exceptions. Even though each student is legally and morally responsible for his or her own conduct, the College also recognizes the concern of legal guardians for the welfare of their sons and daughters. Thus, the College reserves the option to notify a parent in the following conditions:

  • Discontinuation of enrollment or extended absence from the College.
  • Medical treatment or psychiatric examination required to meet emergencies or to maintain one’s status as a student.
  • Misconduct which is of such a nature that the student is in danger of suspension.

Covenant discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A Covenant official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities. A Covenant official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom Covenant has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using Covenant employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

Covenant designates the following categories of student information as public or “directory information.” Such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose at its discretion:

Biographical: Name, address, telephone number, email address, photograph and video.

Enrollment: Dates of attendance, enrollment status, class, previous institution(s) attended, major field of study, awards, honors, degrees conferred (including dates).

Athletic: Past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, physical factors (height, weight of athletes), date and place of birth.

Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of directory information under FERPA by submitting a written request to withhold disclosure. Contact the Office of Records.

  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901

Please direct any questions regarding privacy rights to the Office of Records at Records@covenant.edu or call 706.419.1190.

Library Resources

The Anna Emma Kresge Memorial Library represents the critical center of the academic enterprise at Covenant College. The Library exists to facilitate and promote learning through its physical facilities, dynamic collections, and services performed by professional and skilled support staff. It plays a significant role in fulfilling the mission of the College by providing bibliographic instruction, appropriate resources in a variety of media formats, personalized research assistance, and information literacy competency training using a biblical frame of reference from within the Reformed tradition.

The Kresge Memorial Library seats about 250 on two floors. The first floor contains seating and furnishings that encourages engagement with library staff, faculty and other students. Reading tables, individual study carrels, soft seating, and a coffee lounge offer a warm, inviting environment. The second floor is a quiet study area housing carrels, semi-private group study rooms, the campus Art Gallery, the Writing Center, the Center for Student Success, and a lounge/retreat room for receptions and other special events.  While the entire building is configured for wireless access to the campus network, the Library also provides wired network connectivity through public computers appropriately equipped for research and writing.

Collections include print and electronic books, print and electronic subscriptions to journals, magazines, and newspapers, back files of periodicals accessible through the Web and in print,  streaming audio and video databases, films on DVD and Blu-Ray, and over 200 general and subject-specific research databases. Many of these databases are available through GALILEO, Georgia’s “Virtual Library.”

By using a web-scale, cloud-based, integrated, single-search box online catalog, WorldCat Discovery Services, library users may explore, identify, and access print and electronic resources held in the Kresge Library as well as those located in thousands of other libraries worldwide. Students may connect to the Library’s electronic resources from off-campus locations with appropriate campus network authentication.

Through its membership in OCLC, the world’s largest provider of bibliographic services, the Library networks with thousands of other institutions worldwide to provide interlibrary loan and document delivery services.

The Library’s website, http://library.covenant.edu provides more detailed information on collections, discipline-specific resource guides, policies, and other services. 

Credit Awarded by Examination

Please see Admissions  for information concerning credit through the Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP).

Credit Hour Definition and Grading System

A student must satisfactorily complete all required courses and have an institutional grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.00 before granting of a degree. Covenant does not offer noncredit courses and noncredit course work is not accepted to fulfill degree requirements. Consistent with industry best practices, Covenant has established a credit hour to be the amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates:

  1. Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time.
  2. One credit hour will be awarded for no less than every two hours of other academic activities as established by the instruction including laboratory work, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the awarding of credit hours, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time.

Three GPAs are printed on a Covenant transcript: institutional - only Covenant courses or cooperative programs; transfer - courses from any other institution; overall - includes both institutional and transfer courses. The institutional GPA is the only average used for all of Covenant’s academic purposes such as determination of academic status for enrollment, scholastic honors and graduation requirements. Calculations are truncated to two decimal places (e.g. 3.497 truncates to 3.49).

A grade point is a measure of quality assigned to or withheld from hours of credit according to the system of grades in force in the College. Intermediate values are assigned to pluses and minuses.

Grades are included in computing the GPA in the quantitative standards for the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. Hours are included in the attempted, earned, and successfully “passed” hours in the qualitative standards for the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. These grades are assigned as follows:

Code/ Letter Grade Description Quality Points toward GPA
Superior 4.00
A- Superior 3.67
B+ Good 3.33
B Good 3.00
B- Good 2.67
C+ Average 2.33
C Average 2.00
C- Average 1.67
D+ Passing 1.33
D Passing 1.00
D- Passing 0.67

 Other grade codes include:

CR means a passing mark for a developmental course (e.g. ENG 050  , MAT 040 ). Hours are not included in computing the GPA or earned hours for the semester, but these hours are included in the attempted and successfully “passed” hours in the qualitative standards for the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.
I means incomplete and indicates that part of the required work for the course has not been completed. An incomplete is granted at the discretion of the instructor through an Incomplete Grade Request Form that will outline the plan for completion of the course. All work for the course with an Incomplete grade must be submitted to the instructor, or the Office of Records if the instructor is not available, by August 5 or the Monday morning after August 5 if a weekend. If the outstanding work is not submitted, the “I” will be replaced with an “F” and financial aid eligibility will be determined based on that grade. If the outstanding work is submitted by August 5, the instructor must submit a grade for the incomplete class by one week before the first day of classes. Once the grade is submitted, the student’s eligibility for financial aid will be determined. The instructor has the discretion to set an earlier deadline.
F means failing, carries no grade point, and is given at the end of the semester, or during the last 40% of the semester if the student is failing a class at the time the class is dropped. Students earning an “F” in a core course or required course for the major or minor will be expected to re-take that course the next term that the course is offered. Hours are included in computing the GPA in the quantitative standards for the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. Hours are included in the attempted hours in the qualitative standards for the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.
NC means completion of a zero hour course (e.g. computer lab) or a failing mark for a developmental course (e.g. ENG 050 , MAT 040 ). Hours are not included in computing the GPA or earned hours for the semester, but these hours are considered in the attempted hours in the qualitative standards for the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.
P means passing with a “C-” or better letter grade, carries no grade point, and hours apply as earned toward graduation requirements.  Hours are included in the attempted and successfully “passed” hours in the qualitative standards for the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.
W means either the student withdrew from the college, dropped a class during the first 60% of the semester, or dropped a class while still passing in the last 40% of the semester. Dropping a class during the last two weeks will generally be granted only in extraordinary circumstances (e.g. medical). Action from academic discipline cases will overrule any withdrawal requests. Hours are not included in computing the GPA or earned hours for the semester, but these hours are considered in the attempted hours in the qualitative standards for the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.

Repeated Courses, GPA and Financial Aid

A student may repeat courses previously passed or failed to improve a grade, but all original grades will remain on the transcript. Only the highest grade earned is used in calculating the grade point average. The course with the lower grade will be noted with a code of “E” for exclusion from the hours earned and grade point average calculation. Three grade point averages are printed on a Covenant transcript: institutional - only Covenant courses or cooperative programs; transfer - courses from any other institution; overall - includes both institutional and transfer courses. Courses repeated at another institution will alter the institutional grade point average only by removing a lower grade from the calculation. Contact the Office of Records to initiate approval of an equivalent course prior to enrollment in that course.

Federal and Georgia state financial aid policies now will only allow a student to repeat a class one time that has previously been passed (greater than an “F” letter grade), and still receive financial aid and allow that class to be used in determining the enrollment status (full-time, ¾ time) for financial aid eligibility. After that first repeat, to repeat a second time and still be enrolled as a full-time student, the student must enroll in at least 12 hours of aid eligible course work to be full-time and take the 2nd attempt of repeated hours in addition to the first 12 hours. Please see the Financial Aid  Office for clarification if you are attempting to repeat classes that you have previously passed.

Pass/Fail Grade Option

Students with junior or senior standing and an institutional grade point average of 2.70 or higher may take a maximum of 12 hours toward graduation on a pass/fail basis in non-core courses and courses not required in the student’s major or minor. Students must earn a “C-” or better letter grade to qualify for a “Pass.” A “Pass” is assigned a grade of “P” that applies as earned hours toward graduation but is not included in computing the student’s institutional grade point average. A “Fail” is assigned a grade of “F” that carries no earned hours or grade points and is included in computing the institutional grade point average. The objective of the pass/fail option is to encourage students to take some courses they might not otherwise take.

Distribution/Viewing of Grades

Students can log into the Banner Web from any college computer lab or through any Internet Service Provider from their home or public library to view their grades for a term or examine their complete transcript. Email and written correspondence will be mailed to the permanent address of all students on academic probation and suspension. Distribution of grades to someone other than the student requires a release from the student or must comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. If a student has a hold (e.g. outstanding balance), the student is blocked from viewing grades or requesting transcripts until the hold has been cleared.

Changing Grades

Though faculty members may at their discretion both grant incompletes and change grades after a semester is completed, justice requires that all students in a course be given equal opportunities. Also, as part of their academic and personal development, college students benefit from the discipline required in doing a specific amount of work in a specific amount of time and in learning to live with the consequences of their performance under such conditions. Faculty members will ordinarily, therefore, change students’ final grades only under such circumstances as the following:

  1. the professor comes to realize that he or she has made an error in calculating the final mark,
  2. the professor comes to believe that certain requirements of the course were so egregiously unfair as to warrant all students in the course being allowed to redo some work or to do additional work, or
  3. the professor learns that a student’s performance was affected by illness or emergency such that the professor would have granted an “I” (incomplete) had the professor known about it before the end of the semester.

Military Call to Active Duty

Students required to report for active duty in the military before the end of the term will have two options regarding the status of academic credit upon presenting documentation of their orders:

  1. If an instructor can reasonably give a letter grade for a class without additional work or the final examination, the student’s current grade in the class may be given as the final grade, assuming the student is satisfied with the current grade. If, upon returning from active duty, the student has a desire to complete any work outstanding to adjust the letter grade, the instructor has the freedom to make such arrangements but is not obligated to change the original grade. Because academic credit is being granted, no refund of tuition will take place.
  2. For classes in which a grade cannot reasonably be given before the end of the semester or without a final examination, the student can elect to withdraw from the College, resulting in a 100 percent refund of tuition. If, upon returning from active duty, the student has a desire to complete any work outstanding to be assigned a final grade, the instructor has the freedom to make such arrangements with reasonable time deadlines but is not obligated to do so. The student will be assessed the tuition and fee charges that the student was or would have been assessed for the academic year during which the student left Covenant. If the student pursues a different program, and for subsequent academic years returning to the same program, the then-current tuition rate will be assessed.

Proficiency in Writing

Instructors in all departments of Covenant expect the written work of students to be in clear and correct English and to show competence in the organization and development of ideas. Any student turning in material that is unsatisfactory in its writing to any faculty member in any course will be referred to the chairman of the English Department for corrective work.

Classification of Students

Students accepted as degree candidates will be identified by class-level standing according to the overall number of credit hours earned that will apply toward the degree program. This classification is used to determine a student’s standing on issues such as chapel records and student loan eligibility. Students are classified as follows:

First-semester freshman 0-11 hours
Second-semester freshman 12-25 hours
First-semester sophomore 26-41 hours
Second-semester sophomore 42-57 hours
First-semester junior 58-73 hours
Second-semester junior 74-89 hours
First-semester senior 90-105 hours
Second-semester senior 106+ hours

Academic Probation

Students may be placed on academic probation as a result of two actions. New students may be admitted on academic probation based on lower high school performance or test scores. Continuing students with an overall institutional grade point average below the following averages at the end of any semester will be placed on academic probation for the next semester. If courses are completed in between semesters that raises the institutional grade point average above the levels noted below, the student would still remain on probation standing for the next semester to receive the benefits of the academic support services. Probation status is evident on Banner and students will be notified by email. (A student’s grade point average is computed by dividing the number of grade points earned by the grade point hours attempted at Covenant.)

Overall Hours Attempted Inst GPA
1.00-11.99 hours 1.80
12.00-25.99 hours 1.90
26.00+ hours 2.00

Students on academic probation are required to adhere to the following requirements:

  • carry 12-14 hours for the semester, including GE 131  College Life in the schedule;
  • no other Covenant course may be taken as zero hours during the traditional term;
  • meet regularly with a designated member of the student success staff beginning the first week of classes to establish the frequency and duration of accountability procedures (e.g. study hall hours, tutoring, utilizing the writing center, and communication with instructors);
  • follow a no-cut policy in all courses and submit a class attendance form during regular meetings;
  • report to their faculty advisor at least once a month, or more frequently, if required by the faculty advisor;

Students on academic probation may be suspended immediately for failure to comply with these requirements. Parents may also be contacted based on the criteria outlined in the Privacy Rights of Students section of the Catalog.

Students on academic probation are ineligible to participate in time consuming extracurricular activities as noted in the Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities section below. This policy is enforced by the Office of Records in conjunction with the Academic Standards Committee and the student success staff.

Students placed on probation who do not raise their overall institutional grade point average to 2.00 or higher after completing two semesters will normally be placed on academic suspension. The student will not be permitted to continue enrollment unless an appeal of suspension has been granted.

Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities

Students on academic probation are ineligible for participation in time consuming extracurricular activities such as drama, intercollegiate athletics, intramural sports, hall leadership roles, and student government. Students may appeal to the Academic Standards Committee to request exceptions to this requirement. Participation privileges that have been granted may be removed immediately for failure to comply with probation requirements. As an academic institution, we are glad that we can offer co-curricular activities that allow students to grow spiritually, physically and intellectually, but students must concentrate their time and efforts on their academic program to remove themselves from probation status.

Academic Suspension and Readmission Requirements

Students with an overall institutional grade point average below 1.60, and students on academic probation who do not raise their overall institutional grade point average to 2.00 or higher will normally be placed on academic suspension. Courses completed in between terms will not change a student’s academic standing. This designation is evident on Banner and students will be notified by email. The notification will outline the process to appeal suspension and be accompanied by an Academic Suspension Appeal Form. The appeal form must be emailed or faxed to the Office of Records before the deadline noted on the form. The appeal will be considered based on the evaluation of the student’s current and future capacity (including both ability and intent) to perform up to the level of the academic standards required to make progress in the completion of a degree program. The student will then be notified by the Office of Records by phone or email, and in writing, of the action of the appeal committee.

If an appeal is granted, the student is permitted to re-enroll on academic probation status and receive financial aid if eligible. An academic plan will be developed with the Academic Support Office who will be meeting on a weekly basis while enrolled on probation.

Students who are suspended and whose appeal has been denied are encouraged to enroll at another institution to reestablish eligibility by improving their grade point average and/or by demonstrating their ability to be successful with college work before being reconsidered by the appeal committee. Contact the Office of Records for approval of courses that can be taken at another institution to replace a lower grade received at Covenant.

Class Absence and Tardiness

Instructors are free and responsible to determine and enforce whatever policy they wish concerning excessive absences in their courses and will inform their students of such policies at the beginning of each semester. Such a policy will include information about making up missed work. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor about such work, and the instructor may exercise his or her right of judgment as to whether or not a penalty will be assessed and whether or not the work may be made up at all.

The Office of Student Development will provide written statements for emergency absences, and the nurse will write statements for cases of prolonged illness when requested by the student or the instructor. These statements do not constitute an excused absence, but are given to instructors for verification of an absence for emergencies and medically related purposes.

Students should inform their instructors in advance of any college sponsored events which will necessitate absence from class. Instructors will report the interruption of class attendance by any student on academic probation.

Scholastic Achievements and Honors

The Dean’s List, which is announced at the close of each semester, contains the names of all students who have taken 12 or more hours (not including Pass/Fail hours) with an institutional grade point average for the semester of 3.30 or higher, with no courses incomplete, and with no grade below “C.”

Seniors who have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours of graded coursework at Covenant (not including courses taken Pass/Fail), whose institutional grade point average is 3.50 or higher, or have been on the Dean’s List each semester since entering Covenant, may be excused from final examinations in their last academic semester resulting in the awarding of their degree (e.g. spring semester for May graduates, fall semester for December graduates). Such permission must be secured from the instructor of each course.

Graduates who complete a minimum of 60 semester hours of graded coursework at Covenant (not including courses taken Pass/Fail) with an institutional grade point average of 3.50-3.74 will be graduated cum laude. Those who finish with an institutional grade point average of 3.75-3.89 will be graduated magna cum laude. Those who finish with an institutional grade point average of 3.90 or higher will be graduated summa cum laude. Classes taken after graduation will impact the institutional grade point average but will not alter the academic honors designation awarded at graduation. Students who have completed 50-59 hours at Covenant with an institutional grade point average of 3.75 or higher will be graduated “With Distinction.” These honors designations are printed in the Commencement program and displayed on the student’s academic transcript.